View Full Version : Wind
Robert J Cardon
For all LF fun hogs out in the western USA, I pose this question: Have you encountered more wind the last few years than in the decades past? Could be all this global warming, or just that I notice the wind more now that I'm shooting more LF, but it seems that it the number of calm days without the wind howling are fewer than in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of my other friends have noticed the same thing, having entire trips ruined by non-stop wind. Like one past post sez, just pulling out the dark slide sets off a chain reaction of natural event resulting in wind.
I was actually thinking this year was really mild, wind wise, infact I was talking about it this morning with coworkers. In this part of N. Arizona if you do not get the top layer of skin sand-blasted off your face during the beginning of spring something is wrong.
There is always a lot of breaking wind during an election year ! ;-)
They're politicians... they ALWAYS have wind gusts. :>)
And, not necessarily only during an election year! :>)))
Jokes aside, yes I feel too that it has been windier in the last few years not to mention the Death of Light (for color photographers). The so called Golden Hours of the afternoon turned into a stark, sad affair.
While I am at it, there hadn’t been many spectacular sunrises/sunsets for quite a few years. If I remember correctly it had all gone haywire at about 1997. We do need another volcanic eruption…soon!
Fall Colors? Oh well.
Seems less windy here in the mountains of SoCal. I live in a mountain pass and usually by this time of year we have our earplugs in. It's actually been nice. Try using 400 speed film, that helps. Otherwise, wait 'til fall.
"just pulling out the dark slide sets off a chain reaction of natural event resulting in wind. "
Well, it makes a change from that blasted butterfly that keeps causing hurricanes by flapping it's wings half the world away...
Seriously, try a collapsible brolly: works wonders as a wind breaker (and you can always use it to wack any passing politicians over the head).
It's the inverse square law, the wind increases in proportion to the square inches of film you are trying to expose.
And of course it was always better in the Good Old Days... when WH Jackson and Timothy O'Sullivan took their wet-plate mammoth cameras out to the west, the wind didn't blow at all.
I am convinced by the preponderence of scientific evidence that a modest degree of global warming has taken place in the past 150 years, and that it has accelerated in the past 30 years. Moreover, the evidence is very strong that a sizeable part of this warming is due to the buildup of CO_2 and other greenhouse gases. There is also some evidence due to the Thomas Karl and others that 'extreme events' in weather have been occurring with greater frequency. So, your observation might reflect reality and also might be attributuable to greater variability in weather. Strong winds tend to occur when weather is changing.
On the other hand, while the global effect on climate seems fairly well established, it is very difficult to tie local or regional changes in day to day weather to these global changes. There is quite a lot of local and regional variability anyway. It may be windier where you are, or even over the entire US, but this might be balanced out by calmer weather elsewhere in the world. So the best you can say is that your observation is a 'straw in the wind', which might or might not be happening more often than by pure randomness and might or might not be attributable to global climate change.
Of course, we haven't seen the full effect of buildup in greenhouse gases which is in the works. CO_2 levels have only increased about 30 percent over pre-industrial times. If, as expected, we continue as a species to add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at an every increasing rate, these levels will double or more in the next 50-100 years. Such a major perturbation in the level of gases which control the radiation balance of the earth is likely to produce significant changes in climate.
Unfortunately, our politicians seem to be interested in minimizing the risks of climate change rather than adopting policies which might deal with it.
I live in a wind-prone area 20 miles south of the Wyoming state line. Some years are definitely more windy than others. 1980, 1988 (the year Yellowstone burned) and 1993 stand out in my memory as especially windy in the summer in this area. Last fall was windy, but this winter was calmer than normal here. Wind seems to accompany drought, as in the 1930s.
In rapid succession in the 1970s, I owned Nagaoka, Ikeda, and Zone VI (Wista) field cameras. They all shook like a leaf in the wind and had problems with the wood warping and splitting in this arid climate too. I bought a Toyo-Field 45A in 1979 and have never lost an image due to wind with it. I have been using a Deardorff for some of my work in recent years and have lost no images due to wind with it either. For the last several years I have been using the "Morley Baer Wrap" (see View Camera, Sep/Oct 2000, page 64) and think that helps.
Michael E. Gordon
I defer to this quote (which I greatly enjoy):
"It seems likely that then, as now, wind was not in short supply in the Mojave Desert. Merely take the lens cap off your camera if you want a breeze; twist the focus ring if you want a full-blown gale."
Janice Emily Bowers; from Jack Dykinga's Desert
My favorite location is very windy on good days to horrific on bad. I just place my body between the wind and the camera. That is the sole benefit of being 270 lbs.
John W. Randall
Re: Leonard Evens: Yes.
Usually the winds really honk in the Mojave Desert areas that form so much of Southern California this time of the year. Maybe I've been fortunate, but the winds have been calm or non-existent during the periods I've been filming. The weather has been absolutely perfect, if a bit hazy, in the Panamint Valley area.
Since I had previously scouted this section extensively prior to shooting, and had been drooling with anticipation while observing the effects of late afternoon sunlight on the vast floor of that valley, perhaps I should chalk up my good fortune to the effects of serendipity on local climate.
And I feel confidant I got the shot.
Yes I have experienced it too, but it has never kept me from shooting. I carry in my bag a small Lite Disc which I hold close to the camera at an angle so the wind skates over the top. I routinely shoot at 4 seconds and get sharp images. Moving trees? Work with it aesthetically. Movement implies the passage of time.
Last year I retired a Bogen 3063 head and replaced it with a used 3047. The first day I took the 3047 out of the house it was very windy and I had terrible problems.
Eventually I found that the the hex QR plate was a little undersized and moved a bit in the head. Replacing it tamed the winds considerably.
I just returned from a trip to Utah. While I was in the Salt Lake area, winds gusted up to 101 mph, blowing tractor-trailers off the road. Didn't budge my Linhof, of course. :-)
If I'm out shooting wildflowers it is a guarantee that the wind will make an appearance as soon as I reach my destination. If it isn't that then it's contrails that test my patience.
Also, there's a general drought going on in the SW. Lake Powell is nearly 300 feet below normal levels, according to an article in Outdoor magazine (or was it Backpacker?). Anyways, this might well be affecting wind, sunsets, etc. The good news is that many canyons in the Glen Canyon/Escalante area that are usually underwater are now accessible. Take advantage while you can, as it's not likely they're going to remove that dam anytime soon...
Brian C. Miller
"when WH Jackson and Timothy O'Sullivan took their wet-plate mammoth cameras out to the west, the wind didn't blow at all."
Nah, it blew, but the cameras were so massive that even a force 4 hurricane wouldn't affect them. Jackson and O'Sullivan moved their cameras with the same techniques the Egyptians used to build the pyramids.
I knew once I wrote that things were pretty tame I was in for a slap by Fate. It was one windy weekend at Lake Powell.
Living here in the southwest and being closer is no advantage that one could predict when to be there. If I run over to Moab thinking it will be a great sunset, it is a bust. If I come home I can always count on seeing a colorful sunset.
I spent a week last fall at the north rim. It was 4 days of unrelenting wind. One of the bad things about readyloads is that flap sailing in any sort of breeze.
When the clouds blow in they cover the sky, horizon to horizon, and beyond. When the sky is clear, there is nothing, not even a whisper of a cloud.
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